Senior living software, or as commonly known as assisted living software, provides solutions to better manage the residents of an assisted living facility. These solutions include management, security, and wellbeing of the residence by enhancing communication with the residents and their families. A senior living software aims to increase the quality and impact of the services provided by such facilities.
Various additional features are added in a senior living software that can help the facility better manage and facilitate the residents. These services include optimization of the resources that need to be distributed among the residents, personal scheduling of each resident, along keeping a record of the services that are provided.
The senior living software is also amalgamated with the medical and health systems that are already integrated with the facility. The software may also provide an extensive record of the medical history of the residents. For this, the software is integrated with the electronic health records solutions employed by the facility. Other software solutions that can be integrated with senior living software include accounting, SRM, etc. Here is a comprehensive introduction to the concept and need of senior living software.
Why is Senior Living Software Needed?
A specified residence for senior citizens, people with special needs, and differently-abled people require several services. These services vary as per the needs of the residents occupying such facilities. Such an array of variables involved requires the business management for these assisted living facilities to be well-equipped. Thus, various financial and management software tools are taken into consideration by the managers of these facilities.
The essence of an assisted living facility is that the residents are not just tenants; most of them are patients, as well. Thus, it is essential to integrate property management of the facility with the required scale of health care. The only way this integration can be proved to be functional is through specific software and technical support that brings together all the operational dimensions involved.
An inclusive and comprehensive software solution created to support the functionality of an assisted living facility should include features of property management, financial management, health care, and other basic tools.
Challenges faced by current assisted living facilities
Assisted living services require multiple factors to ensure that the residents are receiving sufficient care. Each resident needs unique attention and resources, which can be hard to keep track of manually. The situation worsens if the number of residents is much more than the number of employees available at the facility. Here are various challenges that are faced by assisted living facilities.
- Limited caregivers
Taking care of elderly and differently-abled people requires a lot of effort. A caregiver who can be employed at an assisted living facility needs to be efficient and qualified for the job. Along with that, they need to be passionate about the job to actively provide support to the residents.
- Inefficient or outdated services
Assisted living facilities need to be enhanced regularly to provide a better quality of life to the residents. If the services and resources provided at the facility are not improved with time, then it can result in lesser occupancy and trust for the services.
- Financial situation
The facilities need to consider the financial condition of the residents. The financial independence among the newer residents is recorded to be on a steady decline as compared to the ones preceding them.
- Performance of the facility
The factors through which the impact and performance of an assisted living facility are judged have changed over the last few years. The facility needs to ensure that there are fewer admissions to hospitals. They also need enough antipsychotic medicines and other health support aspects. In addition, the state and quality of living of the residents are taken into account as well.
Features of an Effective Senior Living Software
When defining the essential features that should be included in a senior living software, the features are divided into three major categories. One will find various software available that address one or two of these features. However, a senior living software will include all these features under one structure.
1. Features related to property management
These features are required to record and manage the data related to the residence facility along with the residents that occupy the space. These are basic requirements of a functional and effective property management system and should be included to process the data records relating to the residents.
- Rental income
Any property that has been rented produces an income in the form of rents received by the tenants. The property management system should create a clear picture of the income and expenses related to each unit included in the facility. The balance of income and expenses should be considered to judge the net rental income gained from the unit.
Along with this, the system should allow one to identify the exact relationship between the tenant and the owner in legal terms.
- Lease management
Lease agreements are the first requirement to define the relationship between the tenant and the owner. The agreement should include the terms and conditions on which both the parties agree. The lease agreement defines the start and end date of the lease, the exact rent, and other relevant information about the rental place.
- Maintenance requests
A property ages with time, causing deterioration that should be addressed to ensure the longevity of the property. The owner is responsible for the management and upkeep of the property by ensuring that all the maintenance requests are met. The software should keep track of the maintenance requests, expenses related to the task, inventory of the tools required, etc.
- Activities management
An assisted living service provider should arrange and host activities that can keep the residents engaged and active throughout their stay. These activities can be for entertainment as well as upkeep of the health of the residents. The senior living software should have the resources to schedule these events and keep track of the itinerary required to be followed during the event.
2. Features related to health care
A necessary aspect of senior living software is the health care system and support. With the support of the software, the facility can track the medical history of the residents along with updating the current medical records. Here are the essential features that should be in an effective senior living software to support the health care of the residents.
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
Healthcare software should have the ability to support and manage an extensive amount of data related to the medical records of the residents. Through an Electronic Medical Records system, the facility can automate the process of updating the records of the residents.
The data that is recorded in the system include the basic resident information, lab results, medications, and other medical documents and SOAP notes.
The software should include the features through which the data recorded can be managed, accessed, improved, and manipulated as required. It should also have the required security features included to safeguard and encrypt the personal information saved in the EMR system.
- Medical bill management
The medical billing system is complex. It needs to record the person to whom the bill is addressed, the one who pays the bill, medical claims, and insurance, etc. The system should have the required system to test whether the claims made can be accepted, test the eligibility of the candidates, and contact the third party for claim confirmation.
A billing system should work as a middleman between the facility, insurance companies, health and medical claims, and the patients. The software can automate the billing system to increase efficiency and save time.
3. Features related to financial management
The assisted living facility is a business model. It needs to manage its finances and accounting to ensure the smooth functioning of the business. Here is the list of features in senior living software that facilitate the financial management of the facility.
Assets include the accounts receivable. The software should include the features to track the payments and identify the age of outstanding ones. The accounts receivable should integrate with the medical bill management system to record the payments. Along with that, it should incorporate payments and income received from other sources.
Automating the tracking system can help the assisted living facility maintain the required cash flow throughout the year.
Along with the payments that the facility is to receive, the software should also keep track of the payments that the facility has to make. These include the payables to vendors, suppliers, and other resource providers employed at the facility.
The software should invoice the transactions that need to be made and record the documents related to the payment. With the help of the software, it can become much easier to keep track of and check the bills paid to a specific facility or company.
A general ledger is required to keep track of the financial data of the facility. The deductions and data that are stored in a ledger can help create results for financial reports.
- Business intelligence
The senior living software should include different modules through which the finances can be tracked. Business intelligence management can be used to create reports that indicate the performance of the facility while also highlighting the room for improvement.
- HR management system and payroll
The employees that are working at the assisted living facility need management and attention to ensure their productivity and performance. Through an automated payroll system, the employees can be paid on time. The HR management system incorporated in the senior living software can help keep track of employee information, attendance, and other data related to the employees.
Benefits of an Operational Senior Living Software
Most challenges faced by an assisted living facility deal with the management of the residential area and the business. However, integrating senior living software will help the facility address these issues. It will also unburden the facility from managing and overseeing administrative responsibilities. Thus, the staff can pay attention to the active care of the residents.
Here are the benefits that the facility can get by employing senior living software.
- Enhanced medical attention
The senior living software incorporates the code required to check and review the medical needs of the patients. The software checks and records the vitals of the residents while keeping their past medical records and current medications in easy reach for the reference of the support employees. By automating most of the processes involved in health management, the software can help in improving the medical treatment received by the residents in the facility.
- Management of data
The data collected and recorded by the senior living software includes daily activities of each resident, personalized schedule, bills, and services, outstanding payments, etc. These aspects are essential for the day-to-day function of the facility.
However, these aspects amount to an extensive size that can be hard to keep track of manually. The software not only records the data but also creates reports and summaries based on it to better facilitate the residential.
An assisted living facility requires an efficient way to maintain communication between the required parties seamlessly. Senior living software provides the perfect pathway for communication between each member of staff.
It can also help keep track of the requests and demands of the residents. The senior living software can also be employed to develop communication between the residents and their family members.
One of the most prominent benefits of the senior living software is that it automates most processes involved in the management of the assisted living facility. The software can automate the monitoring system, financial management, property management, and more to enhance the quality of care and services provided at the facility.
- Personalized care
Any assisted living facility can recognize the challenge of offering personalized care to each resident. Residents have different ailments, require help in different activities, need unique medical attention, etc.
Senior living software can recognize a patient’s patterns and automate the aspects of caregiving required by that particular patient. It can create custom plans, activities, and resources that help and enhance the living conditions along with the health of each resident.
Applications of Senior Living Software
There are various ways an assisted living facility can integrate the senior living software to enhance its operations. A facility with varied patients and residents has to manage different responsibilities. These redundant responsibilities cost the staff time and energy, which could otherwise have been spent on increasing the quality of living of the residents.
Employing senior living software can help reduce the time required to make decisions. It can also help in increasing the accuracy of resident records, increasing the efficiency of the facility’s operations.
Here are the basic applications of standard senior living software that can help the facility better cater to the needs of its residents.
- Vital information
One of the most essential yet redundant tasks required to track the health conditions of the patients is vital information. As most residents housed at such facilities are senior citizens or those who require vigilant medical attention, collecting and assessing vital information of each resident is unavoidable.
Senior living software can be used to track the health condition, vital information, diets, and other health-related tasks with no doubt for any manual error.
- Customized assessment
The senior living software is not only equipped with code to record the data, but they can assess the data as well. Based on the assessment, they provide results that can be applied to each resident. These assessments are personalized and automated.
They can help the caregivers and physicians understand the standard route they can take to address the medical condition of the residents. These assessments can increase the standard of living and health of the patients in no time.
- Reaching the family members
The health and status of the residents need to be provided to the family members regularly. Senior living software can create an automated report of each patient and send it to the family member whose contact has been added to the database of the software. Thus, family members can review the medical information and feedback of the activities they are performing at their convenience and contact the caregivers to access the information immediately.
- In-staff communication
Another one of the essential applications of standard senior living software is a direct communication channel between the staff and employees of the facility. The caregivers, nurses, physicians, and other employees can contact each other through the software. Along with that, the timings, shifts, duties, and other such information can also be spread through the software so that it receives each employee in the least time.
- Tracking finances
Senior living software can help maintain the records of all the expenses that the facility has to bear. In addition, it records the income payable to the facility. Such data can be too extensive in size to be managed and assessed manually.
The software can automatically calculate the expenses along with the income and compare them to draw the financial conclusions required for a financial report. It can also keep track of and notify the outstanding payments and the time crossed since their deadline.
Keeping track of treatments, diet, and medical charts of each resident can be a daunting task if done manually. The senior living software can automate the monitoring process as per the requirements of each resident. It records the changes in the medical chart, keeps track of the diet and activities essential for the betterment of the resident, etc.
By observing the change in the performance and records of the patient, the software can provide suggestions for change in treatment as well. Thus, it can not just ease the responsibilities of the employees but also improve the health and quality of living of the patients.
Basic Requirements for Senior Living Software
Before getting a senior living software, the assisted living facility should do proper research to ensure that the software can meet the needs of the facility. Along with the aforementioned features, here are some of the basic requirements for the software.
- User interface
The senior living software should have a user-friendly user interface. If the software is difficult to navigate or requires extensive training to be understood, then the facilities will avert from using it for their day-to-day management. The goal of the senior living software should be to ease the process of management. Thus, it should have a user-friendly interface that can be understood by someone with little experience.
As a business grows with time, a facility may also grow as the number of residents increases. The senior living software should be able to support the expansion in the data recorded. It should also be able to collect and analyze data from different resources and platforms for better functionality.
The database of the software will store the personal and medical information of the residents as well as the employees. Such data needs to be secured against any breach or virus. The senior living software should have provisions to secure the data. It should also be able to protect the database from financial fraud or identity theft.
The software should support integration with other management software and solutions that were already used by the facility. It should be customizable to include the required software such as human resource management, custom databases, third-party software and apps, and other such applications.
A senior living software can enhance the efficiency of the business by automating redundant processes. It also reduces the costs pertaining to these processes and operational management of the facility. It is a specified software that is designed to keep track of and improve the health and living conditions of the elderly and people with special needs.